The incredible story of how a funny website 'personally offended' Apple's Jony Ive

Jony JiveProduct Hunt / JonyJiveThe Jony Ive puppet that Hoy and Fuchs created

Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, has attracted a kind of cult-following outside the company, partially because he narratesnearly allof the company’sproduct commercials, singing each i-device’s grandiose praise in his soothing British accent.

He’s fabulously wealthy. He’s a knight. And he’s also apparently pretty easily offended. 

Or so it seems based on an incredible story from interface designer Amy Hoy

It all started with a tweet

“I was lying sick in bed, reading Twitter last weekend and a convo went by about iOS 8+ app design being all same-y same,” she tells Business Insider via email. “One of the guys replied with nothing but a picture of Jony [Ive] looking VERY serious and heartfelt.”

Hoy wanted to reply to the tweet with a funny Ive soundbite, but when she tried to find a soundboard of his quotes, she couldn’t find one. That’s when the magic began: She and software engineer Thomas Fuchs  — the two work together on various “cheerful software” designs — decided to make their own soundboard, which they called “JonyJive.”

Hoy says that she “mostly shouted directions” while Fuchs, a”JaveScript machine,” built the site in about 8 hours. The end result was a hilarious website where you could mash a bunch of Ive-isms together into delightfully nonsensical sentences. 

The site rocketed to the top of Product Hunt and got written up on a bunch of tech blogs. 

You’ve got voicemail

Not long after, Hoy says that she and Fuchs got a vague voicemail from one of Apple’s lawyers. They figured the company was upset about the site, so they had their own lawyer return the call. Instead of dishing out legal threats though, Apple just requested the site be taken down because it had personally offended Ive, according to Hoy. 

(Business Insider reached out to Apple for confirmation and comment — we will update if we hear back.)

When they heard that Ive himself had seen the site and felt bad about it, they reacted with “a lot of shock, a little bit of horror.”

“We’re fans,” Hoy says. “JonyJive was just supposed to be silly fun. Like, my friends tease me about my chair addiction. We teased Jony about his dramatic delivery. Wink wink, nudge nudge. It was never meant to be mean. There was no legal threat, just a personal request. So… we took it down.”

Here’s what you see when you go to the website now:

Hoy describes the entire experience as surreal. She also says that although she and Fuchs never meant to hurt anyone personally, she won’t stop criticising Apple’s software designs when she thinks they deserve it (read her great essay about its flat design here).

Here are her tweets about the incident: 





 (H/T Ryan Hoover)

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